If you work within the education sector you might have started hearing the term ‘Wellbeing Champion’ being used more frequently. With this job role soon becoming mandatory to fill the need for wellbeing and mental health initiatives within schools and colleges, it is important to understand the need for the role and what is involved.

A wellbeing champion is a qualified member of staff who is equipped with the resources and skills to support their fellow colleagues or students with mental health and general wellbeing within their institute of work. Most commonly placed in school and NHS operations, a wellbeing champion, or ‘community Health and Wellbeing worker’ is a critical central point for support.

Why is it important to have a Wellbeing Champion in schools?

According to Routeledge, ‘In the UK six children and young people (CYP) within every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem’ but may not seek help for many years due to a lack of accessible resources or central support. By having a Wellbeing Champion in your establishment you can ensure that your team, staff and students alike, have a hub of support that can provide the appropriate guidance in line with a range of mental difficulties and distinct differing requirements they may need.

Filling the need for wellbeing and mental health initiatives within schools and colleges is now becoming mandatory across the UK and there are specific groups of children and young people who will majorly benefit from the crackdown. 

These include:

  • CYP with parents with mental health difficulties
  • CYP who offend or join gangs
  • CYP who are in care
  • CYP with a parent in prison
  • CYP who are carers at home for siblings or a parent
  • Refugees
  • CYP who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence
  • CYP who are members of the LGBTQ community or have questions about gender identity

    (List from Routledge)

The Educational Staff Wellbeing Charter

Schools can demonstrate their commitment to the wellbeing of their workplace by signing up to the DfE Wellbeing Charter. This charter is there to support schools and create a secure and welcoming work culture. By using this charter the education sector is able to publicly commit to strategies that will help staff to open up about any difficulties they may be facing with their mental health.

Here are a few things the educational staff wellbeing charter can offer:

  • Guidance on how to support each other’s wellbeing.
  • Advice on how to give staff a louder voice in decision making.
  • Create a supportive culture that recognises employees.
  • Support for staff to develop and grow.
  • Access to support and resources such as coaching or counselling.

The aim of the charter is to make sure that the tools and resources ensuring wellbeing, mental health and physical health support are readily available to be given. Signing up is completely voluntary and all state-funded schools and colleges are welcome to sign up to help prioritise staff mental health in a high pressure job. To find out more about this, or to sign up, visit the Government website and search for ‘education staff wellbeing charter’.

What is expected in the role?

Wellbeing Champions play a vital role in supporting the mental health of their peers/fellow staff and or pupils.Their job is to build an environment/culture of understanding and to encourage conversation about mental health within their team in order to promote positive approaches and strategies to support mental health difficulties within the workplace/school. 

Introduce a Wellbeing Champion in your workplace

The job role is becoming recognised as an essential part of a team’s structure. It’s important that the person in the role feels confident enough to provide the correct guidance per situation and needs to have the right training to develop their own skills in order to look after their team and/students to their best ability. 

Here at LMP we offer a level 3 certification School Staff & Community Wellbeing Champion apprenticeship programme. The course is aimed to improve skills in coaching and counselling to support students and staff alike extending out to families and the wider community. More information about the course can be found on our Wellbeing Champion information page, where you can download the course details.